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6 Must-Read Books To Change Your Life In 2017

6 Must-Read Books To Change Your Life In 2017

As we all are aware, reading is fundamental. It’s something we were forced to do as a kid and something that, with time, we’ve learned to enjoy. Or at the very least, see the benefits of continuously learning throughout life. Because of this, every year, I resolve to read more books, but I find myself overwhelmed by the choices as soon as I begin. Where do I start? That new exciting adventure novel that they’re turning into a movie this summer? The sci-fi fantasy that will allow me to escape reality into a scary dystopian future? A taste of non-fiction with that juicy new biography that just came out?

I’ve put together a list of six must-read books that will absolutely change your life in 2017, from improving your habits to finding love, from finding out what makes life worth living to learning to listen (and be heard).

Inspirational Books to Change your Life

1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

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Inspirational Books

    If you’re like me, you may have a pile (*ahem* a couple of piles) of random stuff lying around the house. Every time I try to clean up, that pile is there in the corner, defying my attempts to declutter. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing [1] may be the answer to all of our clutter problems. In this #1 New York Times best-selling guide, Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers by the hand and leads them step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

    2. Inside-Out Health: A Revolutionary Approach to Your Body

    Inspirational Books

      If you’ve been looking for a way to lose weight, stay fit and healthy, rid your body of pains, and achieve total wellness, then Inside-Out Health: A Revolutionary Approach to Your Body[2] is a must-read for you. Dr. Robert G. Silverman’s book challenges conventional medicine, which treats symptoms instead of systems, and provides a rationale similar to Chinese medicine. His book shows the way of using functional medicine to focus on starting inside with the gut and working our way outside for lasting health.

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      3. The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships

      Inspirational Books

        Do you find yourself thinking about what you’re going to say so much that you are not actually listening to what someone else is saying? Do you ever feel like you’re failing to connect with others and your relationships are suffering as a result? The book The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships [3] teaches us that we take it for granted that one person talks and the other person listens, and unfortunately, most of us aren’t listening as well as we think we are. Become one of the 125,000 readers who have learned from experienced therapist Mike Nichols’ easy-to-learn techniques and practical exercises for becoming a better listener, as well as making yourself heard and understood even in the most difficult of situations.

        4. Are You the One for Me?: Knowing Who’s Right and Avoiding Who’s Wrong [4]

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        Inspirational Books

          Whether you’re married and wondering if you could be happier, single and wondering how to avoid another wrong partner, or in love and wondering whether your partner is right for you, the goal is the same: find (and keep) the best partner and make your love last. Best-selling author and renowned relationship expert Barbara De Angelis has the answer for you in this groundbreaking book on relationships. Learn how to create a fulfilling relationship by first understanding yourself and the one you love, and then transforming your life with the formula for creating love that lasts.

          5. When Breath Becomes Air

          Inspirational Books

            Get ready to be touched, inspired, and breathless. The #1 New York Times Bestselling memoir When Breath Becomes Air[5] tells the story of a young, idealistic neurosurgeon who found out he had lung cancer. In the face of insurmountable odds, he walks readers through how he chose to live the rest of his life, leaving us with the question, “What makes life worth living?” This breathtaking and touching book inspires all of us to live more meaningful lives.

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            6. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business[6]

            Inspirational Books

              Why do habits exist, and how can they be changed? What is the key to exercising regularly, losing weight, becoming more productive, and achieving success? Pulitzer Prize-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us on a thrilling journey to understanding human nature and its potential. By the end of this book, readers will understand how we can transform our businesses, communities, and our lives by harnessing the power of our habits.

              Featured photo credit: Makunin/Pixabay via pixabay.com

              Reference

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              Lindsay Mattison

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              1 Why an Attitude of Gratitude Is Essential (And How to Develop It) 2 Procrastination Is a Matter of Emotion, Here’s How to Stop It 3 What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It) 4 How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life 5 What Will Happen When You Surround Yourself With Positive People?

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              Last Updated on March 30, 2020

              What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

              What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

              Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

              You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

              This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

              What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

              According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

              Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

              There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

              How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

              When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

              Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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              1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

              One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

              The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

              Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

              2. Be Honest

              A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

              If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

              On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

              Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

              3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

              Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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              If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

              4. Succeed at Something

              When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

              Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

              5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

              Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

              Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

              If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

              If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

              Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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              6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

              Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

              You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

              On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

              You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

              7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

              Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

              Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

              Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

              When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

              Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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              In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

              Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

              It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

              Final Thoughts

              When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

              The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

              Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

              Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

              Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

              More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

              Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
              [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
              [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
              [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
              [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
              [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
              [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
              [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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